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Category: Nursing Home Abuse

New California Law Expands Reporting of Nursing Home Abuse

By Brian Chase on January 5, 2013 - No comments

nursing home abuseA California law that took effect on January 1 expands the requirements for caretakers to report abuse at nursing homes and assisted living centers. According to a news report in the Napa Valley Register, advocates for the elderly hope that Assembly Bill 40’s new requirements will help bring crimes against one of the most vulnerable sections of our population to light, in a prompt manner.

Officials say the purpose of the legislation is to ensure that elder abuse crimes are reported so they can be investigated. AB 40’s key provision “effectively doubles the reporting duties of those required by state law to share knowledge of the physical abuse, abandonment, neglect, isolation or financial abuse of residents” in nursing homes, the report states. Earlier, such crimes would be reported to the care center’s ombudsman or a law enforcement agency. Now, a so-called mandated reporter, who could be an employee, supervisor or administrator, must notify both. …Read the rest »

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse

 

Background Checks Still Lacking in Nation’s Nursing Homes

By Brian Chase on October 12, 2012 - 1 comment

A recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed that conducting background checks would have likely flagged some but not all nursing aides who were later disciplined. According to an NPR report, the investigation looked at cases of 1,611 nursing aides who were disciplined for abuse, neglect and theft at nursing homes in 2010. About 20 percent of these aides had prior criminal convictions that would have surfaced in a simple background check.

The article states that on the one hand, it is evident that a straightforward background check could have prevented those with criminal records from working in a nursing home, putting vulnerable senior citizens at risk. On the other hand, it is also troubling that 80 percent of those who were ultimately disciplined could not have been screened with background checks.

…Read the rest »

 

Why Signing an Arbitration Agreement with a Nursing Home Can Be Problematic

By Brian Chase on October 9, 2012 - No comments

A recent article in The Washington Post discusses the issues involving arbitration agreements, which nursing homes require residents or their families to sign at the time of admission. The implications of such an agreement are definitely far-reaching. For instance, signing an arbitration agreement with a nursing home means that even in the case of a resident suffering an injury due to negligence on the part of its staff members, he or she agrees to bring the dispute before a professional arbitrator rather than file a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death.

While, accepting the terms of the agreement is often stated to be mandatory for admission to the facility, many nursing homes apparently have adopted the practice of placing the arbitration agreement documents quietly inside the admissions package, without drawing much attention to it. As a result, many seniors or family members who place their loved ones into nursing homes don’t even know about the existence of such a document until they are faced with a situation and find out the hard way.

…Read the rest »

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse

 

Nurses Face Felony Charges in Connection with Woman’s Nursing Home Death

By Brian Chase on March 20, 2012 - No comments

California’s attorney general has charged two nurses with felony elder abuse in connection with the death of 77-year-old Johnnie Esco on March 7, 2008. According to a news report in The Sacramento Bee, Esco died after a two-week stay at the El Dorado skilled nursing facility in Placerville, which was owned at the time by Horizon West Healthcare. The company sold its 27 nursing homes last year to Plum Healthcare Group, which is based in San Marcos.

…Read the rest »

 

Report: Oversight Lacking in California’s Nursing Homes

By Brian Chase on March 8, 2012 - No comments

A new federal report released this week by the Department of Health and Human Services states that California’s nursing home inspectors fall short when it comes to following up on their own investigative findings. According to an article by California Watch, the federal department, which oversees Medicare and Medicaid, identified shortcomings by the California Department of Public Health, which inspects the state’s 1,150 nursing homes.

The report talks about serious cases of nursing home neglect, on which state officials failed to follow up. One example was a case where inspectors discovered that maggots were coming out of a resident’s ear. Federal officials say that in such cases, federal overseers are limited in their ability to take action. The power to do that rests in the hands of the state department, which federal officials say, does a poor job with enforcement.

…Read the rest »

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse

 

California Nursing Homes Fined for Inadequate Care

By Brian Chase on February 23, 2012 - No comments

Downey Care Center, Fountain View Subacute and Nursing Center, and Motion Picture & Television Hospital have all been fined for fatal incidents that resulted from nursing home neglect. According to an Associated Press news report, the nursing home fines total $235,000 and the facilities have 10 days to contest their fines. Officials say all three facilities were directly responsible for incidents that occurred on their premises.

…Read the rest »

 


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